Sitting alone on the side of a hill overlooking the field, I prepared myself by focusing my mind and shutting everything else out. I thought only about my role on the team, mentally rehearsing running passes and positioning myself in the scrum. High school rugby was awesome! I knew I wasn’t nearly the best player on the team, but I wanted to give everything I had because if my head wasn’t in the game it could be a painful disaster. Now that I’m more than 20 years removed from high school (please don’t make me commit to a higher number) I know that my mindset mattered in high school rugby, and it still matters today. Our mindset usually determines our outcome. Our mindset is so important that it can determine how closely connected with Jesus we will be, or how far removed we will be.
In Romans 8:1-8, I believe that Paul is sharing with us Why Clear-Mindedness Is Important Today and Forever
Here are my thoughts from the text…
a. I have no reason to focus on fear
Paul teaches us that those who believe in Jesus no longer have to fear judgment. Because of our faith in Jesus, at the end of our days God has no plans to unleash His terrible wrath on us, hit us with a planet sized hammer, or obliterate us from existence. Jesus has removed our condemnation and has placed us under the Law of the Spirit.
b. I have every reason to focus hope
The Law of the Spirit is very different from the Law of the Old Testament. The Old Testament Law led us into judgment because it couldn’t change our hearts. It revealed the nature of God, but because we desire what is forbidden it actually inspired us to pursue the forbidden. However, the Law of the Spirit leads us into life. Our heart has been changed and we now truly desire to love God and love others.
c. I have an obligation to focus on Jesus
Because we believe in Jesus, the requirements of the Law are met in us who follow the Spirit rather than the sinful nature. It’s important to notice that we still have a choice. Even after expressing faith in Jesus, there is still a moment by moment choice to live within the relationship.
d. My mindset is critically important to my fellowship with Jesus
If we occupy our minds with things that are incompatible with God’s nature, then we will hurt our fellowship with God because we will follow our thoughts toward further separation from Him. When we occupy our minds with things that compliment God’s nature, then we can expect a growing fellowship because we will follow our thoughts toward a deeper level of personal engagement with Him. Our mindset will determine how closely or distantly we walk with Jesus.
Here’s Why Clear-Mindedness Is Important To You Today and Forever
Where I find that my mind is submitting to my sinful desires, I need to repent. It’s partly because I don’t want to place myself back under the Law by treating Jesus with contempt. And, it’s partly because I want to pursue something that will give me life instead of death. There’s no fear of condemnation while I pursue life. But, if I treat Jesus with contempt I need to have a healthy fear that I’m placing myself back under the Old Testament Law and heading toward judgment.
I need to give Jesus my first and best thoughts. If I give Him my first and best then the rest of me will come into alignment and grow my fellowship with Jesus today and forever.
What about you?
Are you giving God the first and the best part of your thoughts? Are you committed to engaging the Bible to let it shape your mind? Or, did you come up with something different when you studied this text yourself?
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